Submitted to: Holzforschung
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2004
Publication Date: 2/2/2005
Citation: Zulaica-Villagomez, H., Peterson, D.M., Herrin, L.L., Young, R.A. 2005. Antioxidant activity of different components of pine species. Holzforschung. 59:156-162. Interpretive Summary: A wide variety of plants exhibit antioxidant activity. There is a strong interest in sources of antioxidant activity due to the health-promoting properties of antioxidants. Pine cones are considered forest residue, which have no particular economic value. This study examined the antioxidant activity of pine cones to determine whether they might be a useful source for extraction of antioxidant compounds. Red and jack pines had greater activity than black and southern pines, and juvenile cones had greater activity than mature ones. Collection and extraction of pine cones for antioxidants would be a non-destructive method for procurement of this medicinal aid.
Technical Abstract: The total phenolic content and antioxidant activity of extracts from pine species were evaluated for various plant components, with emphasis on the seed cones. Seed cones from pine species were found to contain relatively high amounts of both total phenolics and antioxidant activity, and there appears to be some correlation of the two measurements. Juvenile cones contained by far the highest phenolic and antioxidant activity, but this high activity appears to be related to seeds retained in some of the samples, possibly due to the presence of proteins or additional antioxidants in the seeds. The phenolic content and antioxidant activity were also measured for other plant components and for a few other species for comparison. In general, the cones of red and jack pine exhibited the highest antioxidant activity compared to black and southern pines. The general trend for both total phenolics and antioxidant activity was (highest to lowest): juvenile cones>needles>new cones>bark>old cones>wood. Obviously, cones could represent a viable source of antioxidants, especially compared to the wood of species that had comparatively low activity. Collection and extraction of pine cones for antioxidants would be a non-destructive method for procurement of this medicinal aid.